Our Latest Bookspot of the Week: Boulder Book Store

We’re back with another Bookspot of the Week! Now, we’ve ventured out to Colorado to find out what makes the largest independent bookstore in Boulder tick.

Book Culture Bookspot / Libraries

We’re back with another Bookspot of the Week! This time, we’ve ventured out to Colorado to find out what makes the largest independent bookstore in Boulder tick.

Every week, we here at Bookstr connect with different bookstores, sharing their stories in order to help you find your new favorite spot in our Bookspot of the Week. Our featured Bookspot this week is Boulder Book Store, located in the beautiful Boulder, Colorado. This eclectic bookstore has been serving its community since 1973! We spoke with the Marketing and Promotions Manager, Stephanie Schindhelm, to talk about what Boulder Book Store is all about.

Image Credit: @boulderbookstore

How did your bookstore transition from concept to reality?

David Bolduc first became involved in the book business in 1968 when he joined his friends in opening a small store. Later on, he founded Boulder Book Store in 1973, originally starting out with just ten bookcases and five employees. The business eventually grew into Boulder’s largest independent bookstore, employing around fifty people and holding over 100,000 titles over their three floors of space.

What do you feel is unique about your bookstore?

Our space! We’re located in a historic building, originally built in the 1890s. Our Ballroom has transformed over the years into a few different things, including being used as a meeting space for secret societies, an Old West photography studio, and a mediation center.

If you had infinite space, what might you add to the store?

A coffee shop.

How do you feel Boulder Book Store fits into your local community?

We’re a central part of the downtown community. Our store has been on the Pearl Street Mall since 1973, so we’re one of the oldest businesses in Boulder. We’re a destination on the mall.

What does Boulder Book Store offer that a chain or online retailer can’t?

Awesome staff recommendations! We take great pride in our Staff Recommendations case at the front of the store. Our booksellers tend to have a wide and eclectic variety of books they love, so we tend to feature books you might not come across on your own.

Do you hand-pick your staff to create a specific environment?

Yes! Obviously we want to hire people who like books, but we also make an effort to find booksellers who feel good talking with customers.

Image Credit: @boulderbookstore

How else do you create a welcoming enivronment?

It’s certainly tricky to do this during COVID, but we have a bookseller stationed at the front doors right now, welcoming everyone who comes in and telling them our store rules. Hopefully this at least makes people feel safe, which I would associate with welcoming.

Do you have any staff picks or releases we should watch out for?

At all times! Check out our Staff Recommendations page on our website.

What’s your favorite book?

That’s an impossible question! But some of my favorite authors are Terry Pratchett, Akwaeke Emezi, Erin Morgenstern, Mary Roach, and Georgia Dunn.

Image Credit: @boulderbookstore

What about your store do you think appeals to your neighborhood?

Our unique space, our great staff recommendations, and our friendly booksellers.

Do you tailor your inventory according to your community?

Yes! We have a huge Buddhist community in Boulder, so we have a pretty robust Buddhism section in our store. There aren’t too many other bookstores that can justify six cases of Buddhist books! We also have a lot of science labs in Boulder, so we frequently feature books on science in our recommendations section. Our head buyer, Arsen Kashkashian, has been buying books for our store since 1997, so by now he has a pretty good idea of what people in Boulder want to read. It’s important for us that the books we keep on our shelves reflect the Boulder community.

Is there anything else you’d like our audience to know?

We’ve been working on an awesome Online Holiday Gift Guide, complete with video recommendations. We think it’s pretty cool, so you should check it out!

Check out some of our other Bookspots here!

FEATURED IMAGE: @boulderbookstore